Tobacco is a product made from the leaves of the tobacco plant, known as Nicotiana. It contains the alkaloid nicotine, which is a stimulant and can be found in cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco. They can be chewed, snuffed or dipped and “snussed”. Either way you want to take it, tobacco’s effects on the body is unhealthy and can cause serious health problems if the habit continues.
Smoking tobacco, like cigars and pipes, increases your chances of getting lung cancer. It comprises a big percentage of deaths and even as a result of second hand smoke. Even if you only smoke a few cigarettes a day or even do so occasionally, you are still putting yourself at risk for lung cancer. It is also the leading cause of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder), which the person suffering finds it hard to breathe as a result of over-secretion of mucus that can cause coughing, as well as wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.
Tobacco can increase the heart rate and blood pressure due to the stimulant, nicotine. It leads to blockages that can cause narrowing of the arteries, which makes you at risk for heart diseases, stroke and sudden heart attacks. This is due to the impaired oxygen supply and blood that goes into the heart that is a result of these blockages. This mechanism alone drives the heart to beat faster in order to supply the oxygen needs of the heart and the body.
Smoking Leads to Reproductive Problems in Men and Women
Smoking may also be a reason for reduced fertility among women and men. It also increases the risk of developing ectopic pregnancy that if left untreated, can be deadly. Smoking also interferes with sex hormone and, thus, causes painful and irregular menses on women and erectile dysfunction among men. It is also known that smoking can reduce sperm production, sperm motility, sperm normal forms and sperm fertilizing capacity because of oxidative stress and DNA damage. Also, women who smoke are more prone to early menopause.
Diabetes is not a chronic disease wherein the body cannot produce nor has inadequate insulin that leads to high levels of sugar in the blood. If this condition is left uncontrolled, it can lead to diabetic retinopathy, vascular diseases that require amputation, kidney failure and an early death due to complications. How is smoking linked to this disease? For one, smoking promotes obesity, which is a risk factor of diabetes. It also increases inflammation and oxidative stress, which is indicative in the development of insulin resistance and abnormal glucose metabolism.
Different Types of Cancers
Smoking is one of the major cause for certain types of cancer. It also prevents your body from fighting it once you have it. It lowers the body’s defences and makes it hard to kill cancer cells, making them grow and spread to other parts of the body. What causes these cancers are the poisons contained in tobacco, which can damage or change a cell’s DNA. When there is a damaged DNA, a cell can grow out of proportion and create a malignant tumor.
Dental problems may also be caused by tobacco smoking. You won’t have to worry about how much braces cost, but with teeth whitening costs instead. Smoking has a reputation of making the teeth a yellow tinge, which is unappealing and can even cause bad breath too. So, smoking-cessation is a must for those individuals who value their bodies and their lives.